The reluctant Southbank runner with a few stories up his sleeve
Southbank resident Andre Jones wears many hats, and through all his roles he continues to prove anything can be done if you put your mind to it.
He is an ultramarathon runner, an independently published author and a Navy veteran, and if that wasn’t enough he decided to come out of retirement to become a doorman at The Langham over the weekend.
Moving to Southbank in September last year, his time as a Southbanker has been a much loved experience for himself and his wife.
“We love it,” he said.
“We have been far more active being in the CBD than when we were out in the suburbs. There is always something to see and do.”
While you might spot Mr Jones walking his Jack Russell, Gordon, around Southbank, he said you probably wouldn’t catch him running around Southbank because even though he was an ultramarathon runner he didn’t actually love running.
He went as far as to label himself as “the reluctant runner”.
“My wife was a Beyond Blue speaker, so I was moved by the organisation and thought I should do something but didn’t really feel I had a great deal to speak about, but thought I could run for the charity,” he said.
“If I don’t have to run, I won’t. But I always imagine what I could do if I did love running.”
Reading up about marathon runners and the World Runners Association – where people run the equivalent length of all the continents east to west – motivated Mr Jones to try and see what he could do.
Putting a buggy together for the journey so he could carry 40 litres of water, camping gear and supplies, Mr Jones set off to run from Melbourne to Darwin, running the 3400 kilometres in 94 days and raising $10,000 for Beyond Blue.
He then followed it up with a run in 2019 around Australia, but had to call it quits before his goal of 15,000 kilometres at 5400 kilometres over 131 days when his buggy tyres started presenting problems.
Putting the next 10,000 kilometres on hold for now, Mr Jones became an avid writer and spent the 2020 lockdown completing his dream of publishing his first book that has been 20 years in the making.
“The book that I first wrote was 20 years old. I am a bit of a gamer with role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and wanted to develop my own role-playing system and put it into a book, but then I joined the Navy,” Mr Jones said.
“Then during COVID and lockdown I was retired, and the book basically had already been written. I went over it and explored more ideas, expanded and re-wrote some stuff.”
The “epic fantasy” book was published in August 2020 shortly followed by two more books, and now Mr Jones is up to having six published books that are available on his website, in various local bookshops and on amazon.
A man of many talents and pursuits, there is no slowing down for Mr Jones who is already onto thinking about his next marathon and his next creative pursuits. •
For more information: andrejonesauthor.site